Facebook Is for Moms / Hyperallergic

Ellen Greene’s explanation of the image that was censored (via Facebook)

Ellen Greene’s explanation of the image that was censored (via Facebook)

CHICAGO — Every mother will attest to the fact that once you become responsible for a child’s life, your own life completely changes. And with that shift comes a new way to both see and question your relationship to society, your body, and your own sexuality. In the realm of American pop culture, womens’ bodies tend to be either sexualized and thus championed, or seen as somehow “gross” or “wrong,” oozing canisters dripping with fluids. Add the label of “mother” to that, and the stakes are raised. Is a woman a “good” or “bad” mother? Asinine judgements like these make their way to tabloid-esque sites such as Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post, where we see selfies of “bad” mothers, who are seen as such because they are still sexual beings, and the equation of “good” motherhood with images of wild animals feeding their tiny charges.

There is, in short, a set of culturally acceptable ways for mothers to be and behave in the world. Mothers aren’t allowed to have their own lives or be sexual; in essence, they’re not allowed to be human beings. When an artist who’s also a mother crosses these lines, people often react in ways that are predictable yet simultaneously a grim reflection on where we still stand culturally in regards to women and feminism.

One such artist is Ellen Greene, whose paintings on womens’ hand gloves focus on the personal experience of motherhood through the lens of a hypermasculine American tattoo culture. Greene, who has shown internationally and has upcoming exhibitions in France and Milwaukee, transforms that macho imagery into her own vocabulary of feminist, female-centric power symbols. And her latest Facebook/censorship fiasco began one morning when she opened her laptop to log in and found her account blocked. Someone had reported her for posting a photo that was “offensive.”

“It was something that I had posted before, on Valentine’s Day, so I don’t know if this report came late,” said Greene when I reached her by phone during her daily errands.

Read full story on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/70353/facebook-is-for-moms/